Singing with Raging Grannies and bye bye USA

We are sit­ting at gate S16 at Seattle Tacoma air­port wait­ing for our Icelandair flight to Glasgow via Reykjavik. I can still see the tower­ing snowy vol­canic peak of Mount Rainier through the win­dow, one of the many vis­tas that makes Seattle such a beau­ti­ful city.

We’ve had a great couple of days here stay­ing with Viv and Rick. Viv is a friend of Chris’ from his WRI days, and so we got a good glimpse of ‘rad­ical’ Seattle.

On our first night here around 30 people, includ­ing 4 or 5 Raging Grannies (one wear­ing the best raging Granny t-shirt I have ever seen), some folk involved with the Ground Zero com­munity (nuc­lear sub­mar­ine base), and Chuck Esser one of the authors of the Resource Manaul for a Living Revolution, turned up for our Freedom Come All Ye protest song work­shop which Viv had kindly organ­ised. It was a great even­ing and much enjoyed, although I felt a little under­prepared. We also passed on cop­ies of the 50 years of Scottish anti­nuc­lear song­books and the Guid Cause song­book to some of the Raging Grannies and other activists.They were really excited and it felt good to be passing on those songs in the know­ledge that they will be well used by act­iv­ists in other corners of the world. The power of song lives on!

Yesterday Viv and Rick took us on an altern­at­ive tour of Seattle which took in the sites where the WTO protests took place, the Fremont troll and artists quarter known as the Centre of the Universe with the won­der­ful motto De Libertas Quirkas.

We fin­ished with a won­der­ful swim in Lake Washington under the watch­ful eye of Mount Rainier. As we were dry­ing off in the sun a bald eagle flew right above us — we must be in America! Truly spectacular.

Viv and I then spent a happy hour in Value Village, a thrift store super­mar­ket with many excit­ing bargains.

In addi­tion to hous­ing Bill Gates (we looked a cross at his com­plex as we swam), Starbucks, Amazon, Boeing and many oth­ers Seattle is a very green city.  Many res­id­ents are grow­ing food in the side­walks in front of their houses, and there are ‘Pea Patches’ — com­munity food grow­ing spaces.

This morn­ing I went to the museum at the Univeristy of Washington, where , in addi­tion to won­der­ful exhib­its about wolves, owls and wood­peck­ers there was some great art work and inform­a­tion about the nat­ive peoples. I enjoyed study­ing bas­ketry through Viv’s know­ledge­able eyes, and hope to finally make my own bas­ket in the not too dis­tant future.

2 thoughts on “Singing with Raging Grannies and bye bye USA

  1. Chuck is an old F/friend of mine, from the first Quaker Meeting I was act­ive in, and where Beloved Wife and I were mar­ried. :) Glad you had such a won­der­ful visit — Seattle is where I’d want to go back to to live if I wasn’t liv­ing in Edinburgh!

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